Stem cell therapy is emerging as the new paradigm for treating and potentially curing human disease. It involves the use of living cells to replace and initiate the production of other cells that are missing or damaged due to disease or injury.
Mesoblast’s adult stem cell technology platform is built upon the discovery of adult-derived Mesenchymal Precursor Cells (MPCs), and the development of methods to isolate and accurately identify these cells. Mesoblast’s intellectual property covers tools for the purification of MPCs from bone marrow aspirates and other tissue sources, and further defines the MPCs by surface markers. These cells represent a unique composition of matter that differentiates its potency from other cell types in the adult setting. Additional intellectual property relates to the applications of MPCs to treat specific medical conditions.
Mesenchymal or human stromal stem cells are non-hematopoietic progenitor cells that have the ability to transform into a variety of structural tissue in the laboratory. Although the precise signals necessary to direct cell differentiation to specialized cells are not known, placement of a precursor cell into the appropriate environment primarily results in the secretion of a number of cytokines or growth factors that then exert an endogenous response, allowing the body to initiate the repair of itself. The MPCs act as micro-drug factories providing the secretion of trophic factors that then exert multiple mechanisms of action including but not limited to anti-apoptosis (anti-death) of cells, regeneration of damaged tissue, recruitment of the body’s own tissue specific precursor cells and proliferation/inhibition of relevant cells types including blood vessels. Together, tackling the disease from multiple angles allows for the superior therapeutic outcome compared to a typical pharmaceutical compound that can only address one pathway.
One of the most important features of MPCs are they do not initiate an
immune response in a recipient when extracted from another individual. MPCs can therefore be expanded in a manufacturing facility for delivery to many patients without the need for immunosuppression. Therefore, while this is a cellular therapy, the manufacturing process and rigorous release criteria are much more akin to a pharmaceutical-like compound.
However, unlike pharmaceuticals, which are generally used to treat a single disease or condition, MPCs can be used in a broad range of indications where replacement of damaged tissue is required.
Consequently, MPCs are beneficial in treating cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure and heart attack, diabetes, bone fractures, cartilage replacement, eye diseases, expansion of bone marrow and many more applications that impact the aging population.